This current generation of teens are dealing with an entirely new form of stress. While every teen has dealt with stress since the modernization of society, like what to wear, who to hang out with, gossip, dating, juggling extra curricular activities, jobs, etc., today’s teen now has to deal with digital stress.
Digital stress can come in many forms. Before giving any teen a phone or a smart phone, consider the following..
*Identity Theft. We tend to think of this in terms of credit cards, but identity theft can affect your teen. Keeping our digital footprint secure can prevent others from easy access to our social media lives. Impersonating us through our smart devices can cause immediate and long term damage. With a few precautions this can be avoided.
*Never share passwords with anyone, best friends or siblings included. The user and a parent should be the only ones who know the password.
* Keep track of privacy settings, especially regarding images. Update these settings often.
* Be aware of your environment while entering a password. Make sure no one is watching.
* Cyber bullying is a great cause for concern. An open line of communication is mandatory for your teen to be safer online. Make sure your teen knows how to “block” certain people and set specific guidelines for whats acceptable to post and text. Make sure the teen knows to report inappropriate interactions to an adult.
* Show moderation. When your teens phone buzzes with a new incoming message it doesn’t need to be responded to immediately. Let them know there are times to put the phone and computer away and take a break, especially at night. The email or text or post will be there in the morning and can be taken care of at an appropriate time.
* Be an example. If a parent is setting rules for their teen, they should follow similar rules. Make sure to show moderation in digital use and be open for communication.
Being a teen is one of the hardest things we go through. Kids need guidelines, and more so now in this digital age. Lowering the stress level digitally will help them focus on more important tasks.